The Bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta today expressed shock that over 2,200 kilometers of streets and footpaths have been encroached upon in the national capital, whose length is almost like traveling from here to Kanyakumari
Touching upon the extent of the menace, Justice Lokur said: You see the extent of encroachment ... You see how serious the problem is”
The remark came after the bench was informed that 844.33 kms, 811.01 kms and 601.2 kms of encroached roads and streets were cleared by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) and those in South and East Delhi respectively as on August 31. Similarly, 11 kms in the New Delhi Municipal Council and 12.44 kms of streets in the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) area were cleared from encroachment.
The bench also dealt with issues relating to the encroachment of forest land and water bodies here which was raised by the court-appointed monitoring committee in its report filed in the court.
The committee told the court that several water bodies in Delhi have dried up and encroached upon, which was a matter of grave concern.
The counsel, appearing for Delhi government, said they would file an affidavit giving full details of actions taken by its forest department to re-claim the encroached land and also by the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) on water bodies.
The bench made it clear that once the special task force (STF), constituted on April 25 following the court's order to oversee enforcement of laws on illegal constructions here, clears the encroachments, the statutory authority would have to ensure that there was no more encroachment on the area.
Additional Solicitor General (ASG) A N S Nadkarni, appearing for the Centre, said they would sit with the amicus and make out agreed course of action to be taken in this regard. The bench said it would hear the issue on September 12.